How to Calculate the Area of an Oval

••• Photodsotiroff/iStock/GettyImages

In mathematical terms, an oval - a shape that looks like a lengthened or squashed circle - is called an ​ellipse​. This means you can use the area formula for an ellipse to find an oval's area. The area of an ellipse is based on half the lengths of the longest and shortest axes that pass through its center.

Axes of an Ellipse

The ​axis​ of an ellipse is a line that passes through the ellipse's center and connects two points on opposite sides of the ellipse's edge. An ellipse's ​major axis​ is the longest axis of the ellipse. In other words, it measures the longest length of the ellipse. The ​minor axis​ is the shortest axis of the ellipse. The minor axis of the ellipse will always be perpendicular to the major axis. If you draw both the minor and major axis inside an ellipse, they will form a cross shape. You can think of the major and minor axis of an ellipse as the ellipse's length and width.

Area of an Ellipse

The area of an ellipse can be calculated by multiplying the half the length of the major axis by half the length of the minor axis, then multiplying by π. Pi is a constant used in equations involving circles, and is always equal to the same value - approximately 3.14 - though it can be extended to an infinite number of decimal places. So the formula for ellipse area is

A=\pi\times \frac{\text{major axis}}{2}\times \frac{\text{minor axis}}{2}

Calculating Area

    Find the length of the ellipse's major and minor axes. The major axis is the line passing through the widest part of the ellipse; the minor axis passes through the narrowest part.

    Calculate the area using the formula. For example, an ellipse has a major axis of 10 inches and a minor axis of 6 inches. The area is

    A=\pi\times \frac{10}{2}\times \frac{6}{2}=47.1\text{ square inches}

Related Articles

How to Calculate the Circumference of an Oval
How to Find the Perimeter of a Quadrant
How to Calculate a Circular Area
How to Calculate Volume of a Circular Cylinder
How to Calculate the Length of a Curved Line
How to Find the Volume of a Semicircle
How to Construct a Rhombus With a Compass & Straight...
How to Calculate Arc Area
How to Calculate the Length of Octagon Sides
How to Find The Area of a Pentagon
How to Find the Perimeter of a Right Triangle
What Are the Five Major Lines of Latitude?
How to Calculate Perimeter and Area Ratio
How to Calculate the Volume of a Pipe
How to Find the Radius of a Sector
How to Calculate the Linear Footage in a Radius
How to Convert Diameter to Square Centimeters
How to Convert Square Dimensions to Round
How to Calculate the Volume of a Triangle
How to Calculate Ellipse Eccentricity